Andijan is a town on the move. People don’t linger; everybody has things to do, places to go, right through the late evening. On the surface, it’s booming – it certainly has more of a business-like feel to it than does Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s sleepy capital.
But there’s an invisible wound here, a place no one wants to go.
It’s common knowledge what happened 10 years ago today, on May 13, 2005. But few will discuss it. Try to talk with local residents, or Andijonliklar, about the massacre and they politely change the subject. If they do talk, they condemn what happened with apolitical generalities – “it was a tragedy” – and change the subject.
They know that all around them there are snitches, informants. And then there are the spooks. It’s enough to make people police themselves.
I attract a lot of attention carrying a camera here. So I get stopped a lot.
When it’s the secret police, who don’t wear uniforms, they demand my passport and write my name into their little books.
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Timur Karpov is a freelance photojournalist based in Uzbekistan.